The Saga of Gosta Berling

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The Saga of Gosta Berling
Gösta Berlings saga.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mauritz Stiller
Screenplay by Mauritz Stiller
Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius
Based on Gösta Berlings Saga
by Selma Lagerlöf
Starring Lars Hanson
Greta Garbo
Cinematography Julius Jaenzon
Distributed by AB Svenska Biografteaterns Filmbyrå
Release date
10 March 1924
Running time
86 minutes (Part I)
80 minutes (Part II)
183 minutes
Country Sweden
Language Silent film
Swedish intertitles

The Saga of Gosta Berling (Swedish: Gösta Berlings saga) is a 1924 Swedish romantic drama film directed by Mauritz Stiller and released by AB Svensk Filmindustri, starring Lars Hanson, Gerda Lundequist and Greta Garbo in her native break-out role on film. The film is based on the 1891 debut novel of the same name by the Swedish author and Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf. It is also known as Gosta Berling's Saga, The Story of Gosta Berling and The Atonement of Gosta Berling.


The priest Gosta Berling gets fired because of his inappropriate life style. He entertains a wealthy lady who in return supports him. Following a variety of occurrences he teams up with former duchess Dohna. Together they start over.




Camera and poster in Filmstaden, Solna.

The film was originally released as two parts in Sweden, Gösta Berlings saga del I on 10 March 1924, and Gösta Berlings saga del II seven days later.[1] The two-part version was also used in Finland and Norway, but for the rest of the world a shorter, one part export version was made.

In 1927 the film was recut, shortening it by almost half the running time. This is the version that was archived for the future. In 1933 a sound version was released theatrically in Stockholm, with the intertext cut out, along with additional cutting and altered chronology for some of the scenes.

Twenty years later most of the missing material was discovered, and a restored version with new intertext was again released in theatres. This version has since had new parts added throughout the years as they have been found, but about 450 meters of film from the original cut is still missing.[2] In 2005, the film was given a new score by pianist and silent film music composer Matti Bye.

Home media[edit]

In 2006, the film was released for the first time on DVD by Kino International with the support of the Swedish Film Institute. The new release includes English subtitles, the new music score by Matti Bye, and restoration of the film to a length of 185 minutes. A Swedish DVD followed in 2007.


  1. ^ Robinson, David; Duncan, Paul (2007). Greta Garbo: Divine. Movie Icons. Taschen. p. 180. ISBN 978-3-8228-2209-8. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gösta Berlings saga/del I (1924)" [Gosta Berling's Saga / Part I (1924)]. Swedish Film Database (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 

External links[edit]